The pandemic and resulting changes like remote working have significantly impacted the telco industry. With the emergence of remote working, subscribers demand better, dependable and seamless data connection from their carriers. They expect omnichannel, self-service and prompt communication to resolve any issues in no time.
Telcos across the globe are realigning their strategies, trying their best to not only offer uninterrupted and wider coverage but also better after-sale and resolution services. However, such quick changes are riddled with structural, operational and network architectural challenges.
With increasing competition from carriers and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, telcos need to upgrade their game to offer indispensable customer service and reduce churn rate. Read on to know the challenges network operators must overcome and how Dotgo can help.
Customer service challenges in the post-Covid world
Lack of personalised customer service that renders quick resolution
Catering to a large user base, telcos receive numerous service requests daily. With the new normal, customers demand immediate and empathetic assistance more than ever. Telcos are infamous for their customer service with barely 40% of subscribers being happy with their carrier’s customer service. Their primary complaints include long waiting time, unsatisfactory automated responses, several to-and-fro conversations and talking to multiple executives repeating the same issue without resolution.
These grievances are ruining the telco—customer relationship, increasing customer dissatisfaction and churn rate. And dissatisfied customers, especially those who experience lousy customer service, are more likely to look for better alternatives. According to the US Telecom Report, 82% of subscribers will consider jumping ship after experiencing bad customer journeys.
Agitated and dissatisfied customers are not good for business, especially in a competitive landscape. Telcos must strive to offer personalised customer services that facilitate immediacy and seamless customer experience to nurture customer trust and reduce customer churn rate.
Unreadiness to adopt remote working
With uncertainty looming, companies across the globe are migrating towards remote working. This is an obstacle for network carriers as they traditionally have depended on large contact centres to offer customer assistance.
It is a huge operational challenge to offer the same speedy service with service agents working from home as they rely on on-premises tech. With in-person assistance not an option, even completing simple tasks like order fulfilment, invoicing and payments seem challenging. Moreover, adapting to these new challenges increases the financial overhead for telecom companies as it requires more resources and tools.
With subscribers expecting immediate assistance, telecom operators have no room for delay or slack. Operators now should adopt cloud-based tech to ensure service agents working remotely have everything at their disposal to offer a seamless customer experience.
The OTT competition
The smartphone revolution and the accelerated growth of IP-based messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Line, Viber and Facebook Messenger have redefined not only messaging but also voice and video calling. Moreover, with brands migrating to these messaging apps to reach customers on their preferred platforms, OTT platforms have also captured the business messaging avenue.
This increase in popularity has been chipping telecom from A2P and P2P SMS revenue, one of the significant revenue streams for telcos. If this continues unchallenged, network carriers will transform into mere data providers, further shrinking their customer base and drying up revenues.
How can telcos overcome these challenges?
Digitize your customer service efforts by leveraging OTT platforms
While OTTs like WhatsApp are still the competition, they also present telcos with the opportunity to digitize their customer services. Telcos can offer their subscribers an omnichannel and immediate customer service experience leveraging these platforms.
WhatsApp has over 2 billion subscribers globally, with users spending 18.6 hours on WhatsApp last year. Telcos can not only leverage WhatsApp Business Messaging to provide seamless customer service but also to market their products to potential customers, increasing the subscriber base. With WhatsApp Business, telcos can create a conversational customer experience where customers can contact them on the go. This will significantly reduce the frustrating waiting time while delivering a personalised customer experience, ensuring prompt and emphatic query resolution.
Also, using WhatsApp Business, telcos can securely resolve queries involving sensitive information like billing and invoicing. By investing in WhatsApp Business, telcos can eliminate the need for numerous call centres, only engaging in human interaction for complex issues. This will help save on the operation costs of managing and maintaining large contact centres and physical points of contact.
Dotgo, a global expert in providing Rich Communication Services (RCS) and business messaging solutions, is an official WhatsApp Business Solution partner. Partnering with us, you get access to not only a WhatsApp Business account but also WhatsApp Business APIs. What’s the benefit? With our assistance, you can get the necessary approvals and set up your WhatsApp Business Account in no time. Also, we will help you with backend integration, ensuring seamless syncing with your existing contact centre procedures and infrastructure.
Adopt RCS, leveraging RCS Business Messaging (RBM) to offer better customer service
RCS, the future of SMS, also called SMS 2.0, will be a crucial contributor not only to helping telcos solidify their A2P messaging revenue but also reduce churn rate. RCS transforms subscribers’ native messaging application into a platform that supports rich and interactive conversations similar to OTT. Telcos that have so far used SMS to reach their subscribers for marketing and customer service resolution can leverage RBM to do the same.
With RBM, customers can reach out to telcos via the native messaging app. Furthermore, by using RCS, telcos can offer a branded and secure customer service experience. Unlike SMS, where consumers receive short codes and OTPs from senders with no brand identification, using RCS, telcos can offer customer assistance services via verified business handles accompanied by the logo and brand colours. This ensures subscribers about the message’s authenticity and protects against phishing.
Additionally, RBM offers analysis reports, using which telcos can gain a deeper insight into subscriber behaviour and query patterns. This will help telcos recognise and predict problems and provide a personalised and anticipated resolution. With RCS, telcos can streamline and optimise their customer service while offering RCS services to brands, adding to their revenue stream.
With Dotgo’s Messaging-as-a-platform (MaaP) solution, mobile operators can deploy and monetize RBM on their networks. It is integrated with the Google Jibe platform and bundled with Dotgo Managed Services, helping network operators leverage RBM to its optimal potential. Most importantly, Dotgo MaaP is cloud-based, so you do not have to change your network infrastructure.
With Dotgo MaaP, you get access to the following:
- RCS APIs compatible with both FNW.11 and Google’s RBM
- Verification and onboarding of brands and RBM Agents
- Management of RCS directory and triggers
- Billing, payments, and reconciliation
- Universal RCS
- Developer support
Deploy chatbots to automate customer query resolution
Another pillar of digitizing customer service is deploying chatbots across all customer service channels. However, if you are sceptical about the acceptance of chatbots and their role in offering personalised customer services, here are some stats you must know.
- 67% of people have already conversed with a chatbot in the last 12 months.
- 87.2% of customers have adjudged their chatbot experience as neutral or positive
- 87.58% of the average customer satisfaction rate from chatbot-only interactions
- 68% of consumers prefer chatbots as they provide instant answers
- Chatbots can manage 80% of standard simple queries
Chatbots will enable telcos to offer seamless two-way and highly interactive conversational experiences to customers across all communication channels like WhatsApp Business, Instagram, Telegram and RCS, reducing the waiting time for subscribers. Chatbots can specifically be built for various use cases automating functions like customer support, billing, top-ups, handset sales, notifications, surveys and alerts. This frees service agents to focus on resolving only complex queries and, in turn, increase sales, reduce customer support costs and improve customer satisfaction.
Partnering with Dotgo can ensure you build world-class and highly interactive chatbots that can deliver seamless, conversational experiences across multiple channels. Dotgo already has award-winning bots like RichOTP and Bot Store directory chatbot that can be deployed over RCS. We can also help you build WhatsApp bots as per your needs or help your developer team build one. Moreover, we can ensure a smooth transition from chatting with live agents to chatbots and vice versa. As a bonus! You get access to our directory of WhatsApp bots, helping your customers easily find your bot and connect.